No Going Back – A Play by Joe Hanratty

It’s a post-civil war Ireland. There’s no going back for brothers Tom & Michael, as they try to move on with their lives, but a troubled past begins to impact their futures. The reasons why people got involved in the War of Indepenence (1919-1921) and the Civil War (1922-23) are many and varied, some idealistic, others more personal. Such is the case of brothers Michael and Tom Thompson. In this play by Joe Hanratty, set in the border region in 1924, a year after the end of the Irish Civil War, the brothers try to move on with their lives, but the past keeps coming back and will eventually shape their futures.

Iontas Theatre, Castleblayney Friday 6th and Saturday 7th October 8pm – booking at NO GOING BACK by Joe Hanratty – Castleblayney Players (


Draft County Library Bye Laws 2023

Draft County Library Bye LawsMonaghan County Council propose to make new County Library Bye Laws to govern the use of library services.  We have therefore published a draft set of new bye laws which are available to view.

A copy of these can be inspected for two months from Tuesday 5th September,2023 at Library Headquarters or at any Branch.

A copy can also be obtained by emailing

We will also consider any submissions made. This can be done until 31st October 2023 by email to or by post to Deirdriu McQuaid, Monaghan County Library, 98 Avenue, Clones, Monaghan H23 RW70

Call for ‘Expressions of Interest’ to deliver Library based workshops/classes.

 📢 ATTENTION Tutors / Artists / Creatives / Facilitators / STEM communicators
Monaghan County Libraries strive to offer a programme of engaging, creative & innovative workshops/classes throughout the year for all ages covering a broad range of topics such as Creative writing, STEM, Digital Creativity, Climate Action, Crafts, Art, Sensory, Age friendly etc.
With this in mind, we would like to put a call out for ‘Expressions of Interest’ for the provision of workshops across 2023/2024.
Please register your details using this online form. 

Open Call for Culture Night proposals

Culture Night Logo

What is Culture Night?

Culture Night/Oíche Chultúir is a national moment, celebrating all that makes up the richness and diversity of Culture in Ireland today, connecting people to cultural activities locally and nationally and aims to open up pathways to ongoing engagement. An annual, all-island public event which takes place each year and this year taking place on Friday 22nd September 2023, it celebrates culture, creativity and the arts and seeks to actively promote the belief that this rich and varied culture is alive, treasured and nurtured in people’s lives, today and every day. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and thanks to the continued support of the Arts Council and local Authorities across the island of Ireland, all activities are made available to the public free of charge.

Culture Night
  • Encourages more people to visit cultural venues and experience culture in their locality
  • Reminds us all about the fantastic cultural facilities and resources that we have locally and nationally
  • Raises the profile of cultural organisations, activities and facilities
  • Encourages people to try new things and to get into the habit of going more often to cultural venues and activities in their locality
  • Makes it easier for people to play a role in their local cultural scene
  • Helps create a sense of community and belonging
Who makes Culture Night happen?

Culture Night happens because many people share a vision and enthusiasm for enjoying, celebrating and promoting creativity and culture. The following list gives a taste of the wide range of institutions that make it happen across Ireland: The public, artists, performing groups, galleries, museums, sport clubs, libraries, arts centres, craft workers, studios and workshops, theatres, public spaces, broadcasters, schools, community groups, local authorities, government departments, state agencies and public bodies, transport companies, universities, shops and many more! For full details on Culture Night see:   

Culture Night in County Monaghan

 Culture Night has been celebrated throughout County Monaghan for several years and we want to build on this momentum again in 2023. If you are a Monaghan based creative practitioner/artist, not-for-profit organisation, local community group, arts, heritage and cultural groups, venues, and societies, we would like to hear your proposal.

What are we looking for?

 In terms of programming, as per Culture Night criteria it is not only about promoting our cultural venues and organisations but engaging creative practitioners as we endeavour to promote the Pay the Artist initiative. We are particularly interested in participatory projects that can give ownership on the part to the audience; initiatives which may broaden the concepts of culture; projects which include equality, inclusion, accessibility and diversity; and projects which can have lasting legacies beyond Culture Night. We also advocate for groups/venues to collaborate on programming with creative practitioners. We seek programming which creates opportunities for increased participation with those who may not always have easy access to events of a cultural nature, particularly but not limited to the following – Asylum seekers, migrants and migrants; arts and disability; Irish traveller culture; promoting gender equality.

To find out more and receive application form email


Closing Date: Expression of interest applications must be returned by 5pm Friday 23rd June by email only.

Drumlin Yarnspinners April Session

📣Drumlin Yarnspinners welcomes Colin Urwin to the Market House, Monaghan on April 25th @ 8pm.

Drumlin Yarnspinners will meet on Tuesday 25th April at 8pm in the Market House Monaghan

Drumlin Yarnspinners is a monthly oral storytelling session that has settled down in the Market House in Monaghan on the last Tuesday of every month. Each session lasts approximately two hours and includes a break for a cup of tea. The guest teller opens and closes the session and there are contributions from the audience along the way.
The sessions are led by Monaghan Libraries Storyteller in Residence, Francis McCarron, who has been sharing tales throughout Ireland for over 30 years.
New tellers and listeners are always welcome.
Storyteller and singer/songwriter Colin Urwin from the Glens of Antrim is the guest storyteller at this months’ Drumlin Yarnspinners session on Tuesday, April 25th at 8.00pm. Colin is one of Irelands leading oral storytellers and he has appeared on stages across the world, most recently in Scotland, the USA and Morocco. His rich and varied storytelling repertoire includes many time-honoured Irish and Scottish folk and faerie tales on which he always stamps his own distinctive mark, and he is also well known for his humorous and sometimes poignant recitations after the long-established local tradition. His is a unique and original voice.
The event is free and there is a donation box for Crocus Cancer Care if anyone wishes to contribute something for the night. However, due to demand and limitations on space, anyone wishing to attend must register with Francis by text on 087 2068601.
Drumlin Yarnspinners is part of the Monaghan County Council Library Service Storyteller in Residence project. Funded by Creative Ireland, it aims to keep alive the ancient art of oral storytelling. It also seeks to gather local tales from across Monaghan. For more information contact Francis: email / 087 2068601.

Celebrating ‘St Dymphna. The Tragedy of an Irish Princess’ at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Monaghan County Libraries have teamed up with Tydavnet Twinning Committee to celebrate the arrival of ‘St Dymphna. The Tragedy of an Irish Princess’ to the National Gallery Of Ireland for a limited run.  This exhibition has been organised in partnership with The Phoebus Foundation, Antwerp.

Tydavnet Twinning Committee would like to organise their own Exhibition on the life of St. Dympna which will be on display in Tydavnet community centre on Sunday 14th May 2023.  As part of this, we would love children from across the County to re-tell the story of St. Dympna their way – it could be a story, a poem, an art piece, a digital creation etc.  All forms of creative expression will be accepted.  Closing Date is Friday 5th May.

Further information about the life of St Dympna can be found on the Tydavnet Village Website.

This competition is open to children from 3rd – 6th Class.  We are also including a SENsational Category for children who have been diagnosed with a Special Educational Need.

If you have any questions please get in touch at or phone 047 74702.

Prizes will be awarded for all categories.  We will endeavour to include all entries in the exhibition on May 14th

Please note:  All submissions must be accompanied by a signed Entry form.

Legend has it that St Dympna was a 7th Century Irish princess who lived in Monaghan around Tydavnet (the Irish name is Tigh Damhnata meaning House of Dympna) before fleeing to Geel, Belgium to escape her heathen father who wanted to marry her when his wife died. He later killed her when he discovered her hiding place. Her story of martyrdom and how she became patron saint of mentally illness has been captured in seven beautifully restored paintings that are on display at the National Gallery of Ireland. We want you to re-tell the story of St. Dympna Your Way for display in Tydavnet Community Centre on Sunday 14th May. This competition is open to children in 3rd - 6th Class. (Prizes will be awarded for each class category) Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 5th May. Entries can be submitted to any Library branch in Co. Monaghan or emailed to You can choose whatever format you like to submit your retelling of Dympna's story. It could be a poem, a story, an art piece, a comic strip, an audio recording, a video recording or an animation. Whatever is your preferred creative outlet! An Entry form must accompany each submission

Come here til I tell ye!

Drumlin Yarnspinners are taking up a permanent monthly residence in Monaghan town.  If you enjoy listening to or telling a tale, come along and join in. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at telling a story, come along and join in too!  The Yarnspinners will run on the last Tuesday of each month in the Market house, Monaghan.

Monaghan town is rich in local stories, songs and poems. Local characters will be recalled from the past and will live again in the tales that are told. The ‘other crowd’ are sure to feature to, so be careful who you talk to!

Local Monaghan Storyteller in Residence, Francis McCarron, will be joined by special guests for this fun night not to be missed. Admission is free and there’s a cup of tea and maybe a ‘foosie’ with it! There will be a donation box with all proceeds going to Crocus Cancer Care.

The Storyteller in Residence project is developing a county Monaghan Storytelling Group, Drumlin Yarnspinners, to keep alive the ancient art of oral storytelling. It also seeks to gather local tales from across county Monaghan. If you are interested in learning more about storytelling or would like to tell at a future event contact Francis: email / 087 2068601.

Tuesday, Feb 28th @ 8pm:  Guest Storyteller Bryan Gallagher.  Bryan is the author of  ‘Barefoot in Mullyneeny’ and is a regular contributor to Radio Ulster Thought for the Day.

Tuesday 28th March @ 8pm: Guest Storyteller Frances Quinn.  Frances brings with her a large repertoire of Irish and multicultural stories as well as original material, verse and dramatic monologues.

‘Books On Buses’ for Ireland Reads 2023

Books on Buses for Ireland Reads

Monaghan County Libraries team up with TFI Local Link Cavan Monaghan to give away free books on buses.

On Friday 24th February passengers using Transport for Ireland (TFI) bus services on the M1, M2, M3 & 176 routes  noticed book bags placed on the seats.  These bags contained a ‘Quick Reads’ title which Monaghan County Libraries gifted to TFI Local Link Cavan Monaghan passengers.

This initiative was part of ‘Ireland Reads’, a campaign to get the whole country reading.   Irish libraries have teamed up with publishers, booksellers, authors, and others for the campaign, which is part of the government’s Healthy Ireland programme and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment.

The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, Saturday, February 25th.

We would like to say a huge thank you to David McMullan and all the Local Link drivers for their help in co-ordinating this initiative.  For more information on routes and departure times for the participating TFI Local Link buses visit

Karen Mc Cague, Executive Librarian with Monaghan county Libraries spoke to ‘The Wider View’ on Northern Sound radio about the initiative.  You can listen back here.

The pledge to read can be made at where you can also see how much time has been pledged by the Irish public so far and sign up for reading reminders.

The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 1,500 recommendations from librarians all around the country for all interests and reading levels.

Participants  can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and the website will offer the perfect book suggestion and work out how long it will take to complete – so you can set yourself a challenge if you’re finding it hard to get back to reading.

A number of well-known campaign ambassadors are on board to help promote the campaign, including Marian Keyes, Joe Duffy, Colm Tóibín, Rick O’Shea, Liz Nugent and more. You can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at

Photo of Library Staff and Local Link staff holding books that were placed on Buses for Ireland Reads Day 2023